IMDb > The Maltese Falcon (1931)
The Maltese Falcon
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The Maltese Falcon (1931) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   1,969 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Dashiell Hammett (based on the novel by)
Maude Fulton (screen play & dialogue) ...
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Contact:
View company contact information for The Maltese Falcon on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 June 1931 (USA) See more »
Plot:
A lovely dame with dangerous lies employs the services of a private detective, who is quickly caught up in the mystery and intrigue of a statuette known as the Maltese Falcon. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Not bad first version (which John Huston must have seen!) See more (33 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Bebe Daniels ... Ruth Wonderly

Ricardo Cortez ... Sam Spade
Dudley Digges ... Casper Gutman
Una Merkel ... Effie Perine
Robert Elliott ... Detective Lt. Dundy

Thelma Todd ... Iva Archer
Otto Matieson ... Dr. Joel Cairo
Walter Long ... Miles Archer

Dwight Frye ... Wilmer Cook
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Det. Sgt. Tom Polhouse
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Agostino Borgato ... Capt. John Jacobi (uncredited)
Tiny Jones ... Jailbird Seeking Cigarette (uncredited)
Cliff Saum ... Baggage Clerk (uncredited)
Morgan Wallace ... District Attorney (uncredited)
Lucille Ward ... Sarah - Prison Matron (uncredited)

Directed by
Roy Del Ruth 
 
Writing credits
Dashiell Hammett (based on the novel by)

Maude Fulton (screen play & dialogue) &
Brown Holmes (screen play & dialogue)

Lucien Hubbard  uncredited

Cinematography by
William Rees (photography)
 
Film Editing by
George Marks (edited by)
 
Art Direction by
Robert M. Haas  (as Robert Haas)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Palmer Belmont .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Harry Davis .... second camera (uncredited)
Mac Julian .... still photographer (uncredited)
Frederick E. West .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Earl Luick .... wardrobe
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... conductor: Vitaphone Orchestra
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Dangerous Female" - USA (TV title)
See more »
Runtime:
80 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Art director Robert M. Haas performed the same function on The Maltese Falcon (1941).See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: In the second-to-last scene, as Spade identifies killers to the police, his robe goes from being relatively neat to sloppy.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Sam Spade:Bye-bye, honey. I'll see you later... Effie!
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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24 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
Not bad first version (which John Huston must have seen!), 6 January 2000
Author: mgmax from Chicago

This is a fascinating version of the story definitively filmed ten years later by John Huston, because of the ways in which it comes close to capturing the Hammett novel-- and the ways in which it doesn't. As a pre-Code film it's often more explicit than the Huston version-- especially about the fact that Spade was having an affair with his partner's wife, and about the homosexuality of the male crooks (this movie's Gutman is plainly depicted as a seedy john rather than as the refined aesthete Sydney Greenstreet would play). But hardboiled attitude is what really matters, and Ricardo Cortez (a good early talkie actor who always tried hard) just isn't playing Hammett's hardboiled, unsentimental Spade-- he's playing the more typical suave gentleman detective of the period, like Philo Vance. As a result, it's the love affair with Ms. Wonderly that takes over, and the shocking bite of Hammett's ending is lost. It was capturing the Hammett worldview that was John Huston's great accomplishment, and that made his Falcon so influential over the films noir to follow.

All the same Huston, who was working at Warner Bros. when this was made, must have liked something about this movie-- the scene where Spade first meets Joel Cairo (Otto Mattiesen, doing an excellent Peter Lorre imitation years before the fact) is repeated almost shot for shot and inflection for inflection in the Huston version, the only such case of direct inspiration I spotted here. Mattiesen, a familiar silent era character actor, sadly died not long after the film came out; had he lived he certainly could have had as interesting a talkie career as Lorre eventually did.

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Message Boards

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Homosexuality Rubberbandgirl
Compare to Bogart's version? shopbuyshop
What does the Chinese man say to Sam Spade? willieboyd2
A Much More Handsome Falcon Chesterfield_Invincible
Is Ruth Wonderly... AnnaBulic
1931 Version on DVD Wilhelm-Zwei
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